2012-06-14 / Letters to the Editor

Turbines cause health problems in Falmouth

As further evidence that landbased wind turbines can cause health problems for people living in close proximity of a wind turbine, the following recent events occurred in Falmouth, Mass.

On May 14, the Falmouth Board of Selectmen passed a motion to temporarily cease operation of one of its wind turbines for 30 days while further study is made of the vibrations and noise generated by the turbine. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will conduct the noise studies. After this period, the wind turbine will only be allowed to operate between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. because of the adverse health effects of the residents living within a mile of the wind turbines.

On May 25, the Falmouth Health Department held a meeting to hear testimony of the impact to the health of residents who live near the largest wind turbines in Falmouth. A total of 30 residents gave testimony about a range of problems, including sleep disturbance, depression, abnormal heart rhythms, ringing in the ears, weight gain, and the increased stress, anxiety, irritability and anger they attribute to their proximity to the two town-owned turbines, the privately owned Notus Clean Energy turbine and the Woods Hole Research Center turbine.

The size of each of the Falmouth wind turbines are actually smaller than the size of the turbine proposed for Taylor Point. The increased size of the Taylor Point turbine will likely increase the sound level of the vibrations and noise from the turbine. Therefore, it is likely to have a greater impact on those Jamestowners living within a 1.5-mile radius of Taylor Point than residents of Falmouth are experiencing.

Clearly locating a wind turbine near a residential area has an adverse health impact on some of the residents. Some portion of the Jamestown residents living within a 1.5-mile radius of a Taylor Point wind turbine are likely to experience similar health problems as the folks in Falmouth are experiencing.

Can the town of Jamestown afford to put residents at risk, knowing that health problems directly related to the vibrations and noise generated by a wind turbine located at Taylor Point, are likely to ensue?

Hugh Murphy Stern Street Jamestown

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